My (very blessed) (really cool) week in pictures !

This week was one emotional week, packed with celebrations, friends and new happenings. This week, on Thursday, I skipped class to attend my brother’s doctoral thesis defense and, in the small room where he presented his thesis, was overwhelmed with emotion as we heard the professors award him the summa cum laude honor !!! My parents, friends and I were so proud as he pronounced the oath of Galen !

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My best friend, study buddy, inspiration and partner in crime, is now a PharmD !!!

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Celebrating our champion at the restaurant, a few hours later ! 

Seeing my father bow his head in prayer as my brother pronounced the oath was something incredible to see. I’m extremely grateful for all the joy that my brother has brought to my parents, not only during the graduation ceremony but also during his life. My brother has been so good to me during the time we lived together as students and grew to be a strong man during these years. Seeing the pride, relief and happiness on Dad’s and Mom’s face, during that night, is something I will never forget. They worked so hard to help us make it through these years of pharm… We are definitely blessed with godly, wise, caring, generous, extremely loving parents.

 

raclette

After the celebration and a good night of sleep, my brother had to return at his workplace for an early Christmas Party-which left me a few hours to study some immunology before I celebrate something else. Ummmm, in fact, there was nothing in particular to celebrate, it’s just that my friends and I never have the time to catch up, being in different programs, so it was about time that we gather again for our kind of food, raclette. Bring on the cheese, the cheese, the cheese, the cold cuts, and, I almost forgot to mention, the cheese. And the baguette. And the pickles. And the potatoes. And the mannequin challenge !! We ended the night with a hilarious mannequin challenge, and obviously one of the girls had to crack up every time I almost caught a perfect scene on camera.

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Today is a study day ! It might sound basic to a lot of people-especially if you are someone who is really organized and who plans everything in advancee, but I started to plan the day ahead as soon as I wake up. It takes a few minutes but saves you a lot of time and discouragement- I used to do homework and work on projects without much planning and scheduling and as the end of the day was nearing, I found myself discouraged, because I did not have a clear of idea of the progress I had done that day. Crossing items of your list definitely gives you a motivational boost !

me-running

Call CNN, Fox News, BBC, everyone !! I took up running ! In fact, I’m taking up crossfit-my brother runs marathons and IronMan and every sort of competitions; it was not always this way, however. We are not a family where physical exercice was something that important, and it was not until his 3d year of university that my brother started going to the gym, running, etc. Since we have flat feet, we have a small disadvantage when it comes to training but my brother is not the kind of person to find excuses and slowly but surely, began to run. 20 minutes. 40 minutes. 1h30. And then, a few years later, crossed the finish line of two marathons after 5 hours of running non-stop. He oftens says that he would get depressed without running, and today for the first time, I took advantage of the beautiful, foggy weather (nope, as an autumn lover, these words are not antonyms to me lol) and went for a run in the local part that is 5 minutes away from my home. It felt SO GOOD ! I went back home  energized, and wondered why I never started before ! If you have never done it, go ahead- you can thank me later.

Running across flamingos, peacocks, ducks and a wallaby makes the experience fantastic…

… And makes returning to work easier.

Thankful for this week mercies ! Have a beautiful weekend y’all !

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Good morning y’all

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Good morning everyone ! I’m blogging from the bus stop right now. We are slowly transitioning from a soft autumn to cold mornings here in France, and when you exit the house, it’s still dark, and you come back, well, it’s darker !

yay for autumn and French bakeries 🙂 

I’ve never been more grateful for my handmixer that now allows me to have a daily dose of fruity goodness every morning (smoothies are so cool lol). Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day but this year I rarely get to sit down and eat it so- why not drink it instead ? Here is the green smoothie recipe  I whipped up this morning: 2 bananas (1 would have been enough- see how the whole mixture splattered everywhere ?, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup of vanilla soy milk (or any milk of your choice plus something to sweeten it).

Daily diary

After two weeks of “vacations” at my parents home- I’m back in my appartment, ready for another week of school !

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Vacations with quotations marks since of course, I’ve been studying a lot and right after I post this short entry, I’ll be back at my desk. Though difficult and filled with tons of concepts and tons of “actors”, i.e cells and the way the interact with each other, overall, immunology is enjoyable. And while I’m talking about school, I have to mention that I’m really excited  for this week ! My older brother will defend his doctoral dissertation and, God willing, will become a Pharmacist ! I’m a proud sister, and my parents are overwhelmed. My parents called a friend who owns a restaurant and booked a table for the evening, are getting everything ready, from the camera to the chocolates for the professors, they are just so involved in the process, and getting all emotional about it ! It’s really a huge transition for my brother: right after his final internship in a pharmaceutical company, they hired him so he had the luck to find a job right after his studies, which he is really happy about, yet I think he is going to miss university. So will I. I have one month of school yet and then, I’m off to a 6 months internship.

mujaddara

In the kitchen ! Lately, I was reading a culinary blog in which the author gave advice about finding your style in the kitchen and one of them was that it is better to stick to one type of cuisine rather than have all the ingredients, exotic and not so exotic, not use them a lot and , in the end, waste food. As basic as this sound, it definitely makes a difference when you’re learning to cook and to stock items in your pantry. So I decided that from now on, being Lebanese and Syrian, I would stick to traditional Middle-Eastern cuisine. Not that I refuse to cook something different every once in a while but it feels so much better, especially when you are trying to live with less and incorporate minimalism in your life, to have just the basic ingredients and fresh items and stick to a few dishes. Pictured above is Mujaddara, a dish of rice and lentils. It is traditionally served with fried onions and a tzatziki.

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Yesterday, I started reading a God-Entranced Vision of All things: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards, by John Piper and Justin Taylor. You can find it for free on PDF, by the way, something that Desiring God Ministries do with most books they publish. Jonathan Edwards is one of my favorite authors and I think I will post a few of his quotes online throughout the week. His words are stirring my affections for Christ, which, lately, at times, I have to confess, have been growing cold. I have been mourning over my sin-I realized that at times, I have desired the approval of men more than the approval of the Lord Jesus and I’m not as disciplined when it comes to the reading of the Scriptures and putting God first in everything than I used to be- a lack of discipline which has caused me a lot of grief. I told my mother this morning, that I did not want to be so anymore. Sin makes false promises. It’s alluring, it’s tempting, and then, it kills you. I was reading something in that book that caught my attention:

“Many Christians think stoicism is a good antidote to sensuality. It isn’t. It is hopelessly weak and ineffective. And the reason it fails is that the power of sin comes from its promise of pleasure and is meant to be defeated by the superior promise of pleasure in God, not by the power of the human will. Willpower religion, when it succeeds, gets glory for the will. It produces legalists, not lovers.”-John Piper

And

Self-denial will also be reckoned amongst the troubles of the godly. . . . But whoever has tried self-denial can give in his testimony that they never experience greater pleasure and joys than after great acts of self-denial. Selfdenial destroys the very root and foundation of sorrow, and is nothing else but the lancing of a grievous and painful sore that effects a cure and brings abundance of health as a recompense for the pain of the operation.-Jonathan Edwards

So this week, I’ll be fighting for true joy. True Joy that is found only in Christ. “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalms 16:11). I will fight for it, and I know that the Lord will be my help in this fight, that I won’t be alone.

Today, I’m thankful for…

  • Green mint tea
  • A beautiful sunrise
  • Those last days of vacations- I’m so grateful that I could catch up on sleep and that I am now refreshed for my last month as a student !
  • A quiet Bible time this morning- I read Heb ch. 11 et 13

We need not be afraid to come

He declares himself to be a fountain of living water; yet why is he a fountain but that we may come unto him, and drink? He tells us, “I am the bread which came down from heaven;” but why does he speak of himself as bread, whereof if a man eat, he shall never hunger? Why, because he wants us to partake of him! You need not, therefore, be afraid that he will refuse you when you come to him. If a man praises his wares, it is that he may sell them. If a doctor advertises his cures, it is that other sick folk may be induced to try his medicine; and when our Lord Jesus Christ praises himself, it is a kind of holy advertisement by which he would tempt us to “come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” If he praises himself, it is that we may fall in love with him; and we need not be afraid to come and lay our poor hearts at his feet, and ask him to accept us, for he would not have wooed us by unveiling his beauties if he had meant, after all, to trample on our hearts, and say, “I care nothing for such poor love as yours.” -Charles Spurgeon

Sin forgiven

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,and cleanse me from my sin!” (Ps 51:1-2)

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,and in whose spirit there is no deceit.(Ps 31: 1-2)

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”(Ephesians 1:7)

Held as in a vise

Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is small. Sanctification is simply the wonderful expression or evidence of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.

Oswald Chambers

The Instagram Bible

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I won’t be long today as I am getting ready for my exams- yet, I really had to share that really short blog post by Jen Wilkin on her blog The Beginning of Wisdom; her reflection on the tendency lots of people have, because of social media (Instagram but also Facebook, blogs, and whatever app that exists), to get their “spiritual meals” on Instagram was definitely very convicting and worth reading.

It resonated with me in a particular area: I love reading blogs on modesty or scrolling through Pinterest, going from board to board and stealing modest outfits ideas. Sometimes I spend too much time there. But, isn’t modesty something biblical ? Yeah, sure. But you cannot base your whole theology on clothes. Its an element, pointing to something greater, and it can be made an idol under the pretext of godliness, at times.

See you after my exam, ya’ll !

 

 

Do not fear their threats

13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threatsb ; do not be frightened.”c 15But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

(1 Peter 3: 13-18)

A few proverbs

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.- Proverbs 13:3

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding- Pr.17:7

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.-Proverbs 29:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.-Proverbs 3:5

Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.-Proverbs 4:23